In the New King James Version, Psalm 47:1-2 says:
Oh, clap your hands, all you peoples!
Shout to God with the voice of triumph!
For the LORD Most High is awesome;
He is a great King over all the earth.
Is that not a glorious passage?
In the King James Version, it is exactly the same, except for one word. It reads, “The Lord most high is terrible.”
What? Terrible? Our God? We are supposed to rejoice in that? Ah, yes!
Take a closer look at the last word in the first verse. Triumph. For me, anyway, that pulls up a picture of a battle, a completed battle, with one side standing victorious. Our God is the triumphant One. He vanquishes His enemies.
In fact, toward His enemies, He is devastating, terrifying, terrible.
And we rejoice in that? Of course we do, unless we happen to be His enemy. “Whoever therefore wants to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God.” (James 4:4b) That’s pretty easy: God or the world. Choose.
But for those who are God’s friends:
If God is for us, who can be against us? (Romans 8:31b)
Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us. (Romans 8:37)
“The LORD your God, who goes before you, He will fight for you” (Deuteronomy 1:30a)
Our Lord promises to fight against our enemies, to make them His enemies. He will be a terrible Enemy toward the spiritual forces that attack us. And maybe even physical forces.
What wonderful protection, to have this terrifying Warrior on our side!
Fear not! Rejoice! For the LORD Most High is terrible!